mummy-daddy-me-header

Articles tagged with: All about Me

A Year Of Fitness...

on Wednesday, 07 January 2015.

On January 1st last year I set myself a challenge.  To lose weight, get healthier and improve my fitness levels.  I was stuck in a rut- eating unhealthily, not doing any exercise at all, and generally not feeling particularly nice about myself.  I have never been overweight, but I had a spare tyre round my waist and I just didn't feel nice in clothes at all.  I had got to the point where I wasn't making any effort with my appearance, I don't remember the last time I bought any clothes and even when I did I still felt unconfident.  We had got into a habit of eating a lot of rubbish, we would eat chocolate, ice cream or desserts every evening, I would eat paninis and chips when I was out with friends at soft play and I would pile my plate high with food in the evening, my appetite even surpassing my husbands.

Until this year I have never ever stuck at a fitness plan or done any regular exercise.  Even at school, I was never really sporty and preferred to hide in our common room and paint my nails than go and do netball and hockey.  At university and in my early 20's I lost count of the amount of times I joined a gym only to go twice and then never return.  I just didn't have the motivation to do it.  But on the 1st January 2014 something inside me made me decide to start a fitness mission.  And this time for whatever reason it was different.

I took a photo of myself on January 1st 2014 as motivation to see if I could see any results and that photo still makes me feel really sad.  It's not like I am particularly overweight but I just look unhealthy- it can definitely only be described as a spare tyre round my middle.  I started off in January joining a gym with my sister.  We went a few times, but I don't know what it is but I just don't feel 100% comfortable at the gym.  So instead we went for a run one evening.  And bizzarely I absolutely loved it. I downloaded the Nike Running app and loved getting an instant result as to how far and fast I was running.  I started off running just half a mile, then a mile then setting myself a goal to work up to three. Then five.  Then a little bit more.  And even though it was winter and freezing, I still did it.  Eventually I cancelled the gym membership and just carried on with my running.  I started off going three to four times a week, just short distances and I loved beating my times and the way it motivated me.

myfitnessmissionmarch

(Photos from March)

The next thing was my stomach area.  I had two large 9lb babies, both by c-section and my core was just incredibly weak.  My tummy stuck out like I was about 12 weeks pregnant.  After some research online I found out I had a diastasis recti, which basically is separation of the ab muscles after pregnancy.  I did a simple exercise which I found online and found that my separation was about 4-5 cm, not the worst ever but certainly something that needed improving.  So I set about doing exercises to try and strenghten my core.  The worst thing you can do for ab separation is things like sit up's as they can make it worse, so I researched online and did simple exercises twice or three times a week at first to strengthen them.  It took quite a while but after about six months I started to notice a difference.  Now, it's not perfect, its about 1-2 cm so I still have a bit of a bulge and gap but it is a lot better than it was.

In terms of food, to begin with I really watched what I ate.  I cut down on all chocolate and sweet things and ate a lot healthier in the evening.  But the main thing I did was eat smaller portions.  Instead of a greasy panini and chips for lunch I would have a jacket potato or beans on toast (baked beans- best thing ever in terms of being tasty and low in fat!)  I measured myself at the end of each month and was excited to actually see some results for the first time ever, with my greatest loss in weight in the first month.  It was definitely addictive.  I began signing up to running races in the future as a motivator, with a 10k race in the June, a half marathon in the August and another half marathon in the October.  I also used my husband's kettlebells for a few minutes once or twice a week too.

After losing the initial weight I started to relax a little.  I had sweet treats, still ate chocolate a few times a week, and ate the things I enjoyed, I just ate them in moderation and if I knew I was going out for dinner and wanted to eat lots, then I would make sure I had a healthy meal the night before.  We went on holiday to Rhodes in June and I ate so much for the week, but I also got up early three times and went to our hotel gym.  I completed my first half marathon in August, something which I was incredibly proud of and then I did another one in October too.  I got a little bit lazy in writing my fitness mission posts each month, but I still made sure I stuck to it, although I wasn't as strict as I was before.  Nowadays I run about once or twice a week, mainly because it is so cold at the moment and I am really busy with my freelance work.  

great eastern run2

I definitely go through stages where I am really motivated and then weeks when I am not so much.  However in the whole year the longest I haven't run has only been about a period of two and a half weeks which has been recently over Christmas.  I also have been eating out a lot and of course eating all the festive food, so I have put on a few pounds and lost some definition in my stomach muscles- it is so easy to get out of the habit, but the weight I am at now is actually the most comfortable for me.  It is a struggle to get out the door sometimes but towards the end of the year, I stopped trying to get faster and began running with a good friend of mine, it's great as in the Winter even though I am not going as fast as I normally would, I am chatting and enjoying each run.  The start of the year was all about me beating my personal bests whereas the end of the year I have just been running to keep fit.

I am still eating fairly healthily but I do still eat even a small sweet treat most days, even if that is just a chocolate biscuit, a couple of pieces of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream.  I find if I cut it out completely then I end up wanting it so much more so I think it's best to eat in moderation.  I started the year drinking a lot of water, but over the last few months I have got terrible, I barely even drink a glass a day and I have started drinking even more diet coke than I used to- I really need to try and cut down, while I won't be able to stop drinking it completely, if I can drink more water then I won't feel so guilty about drinking it.  I am useless at drinking water so this is something I really need to try and improve on.

 

My results of my fitness mission after a whole year are...

Weight Loss- 2 stone exactly (although I have added about 4 pounds over Christmas)

Inches Lost- 7 inches from around my waist.

Running achivements- 2 half marathons, 1 10k race.  My fastest half marathon time is 1.51.  

 

a year of fitness


Here is a before and after photo to compare.

 

So what do I want for 2015?  Well I have got a little lazy the last few months and so I want to try and get more motivated again.  I want to run at least twice a week, back in the summer I managed to get quite good tummy muscles, so I want to work hard on doing exercises at home to work on that as it is still the part of me that I feel most self conscious about.  I have a wobbly bit of excess skin at the bottom from where I had my two c-sections and I know I won't be able to get rid of that, but I would like to tone up a little more.  Also where I have lost weight I now literally have no bottom, so I would like to try and tone and firm that a little more- the only problem is I literally cannot stand squats which I believe is the best way to do that.  I don't need to lose anymore weight but I want to maintain the weight I am now.

Running wise, I have signed up to two more half marathons- one in March and one in October, but I want to look and try and do a couple more as well.  I did something crazy and signed up to the full Brighton Marathon which is in April, but I am now wondering whether to defer it until 2016.  I just feel like I am not in the right place to try and run a 26 mile race- I am busier than ever with work and I want to enjoy these last few months before Mads goes to school.  Also we have a fair few exciting things booked because we are trying to get them in before she goes to school in September, so I just worry I won't be able to commit to training for it.  I almost feel like I am cheating myself by not doing it, but I will still make sure I do lots of other races instead, and hopefully I can do that one in 2016.  It's just such a commitment and I don't feel ready for it to be honest.

I am going to drink more water as well and try and cut down on diet coke, and try and perhaps get back into the frame of mind of not eating too much rubbish as I have definitely got worse and into bad habits again over the last few months.  That said, fitness and this way of thinking is a way of life for me now so I don't worry that I will completely fall of the wagon.  Above all I am incredibly, incredibly proud of myself for sticking at my fitness mission for this year, it has changed my life and I hope that I will continue in 2015!

 

NB: This is just my own personal fitness journey- I have no idea if it's the way you should do things, but it's how I managed to lose weight and get fitter.  I am not an expert and don't really have a clue what I am doing but I wanted to share my year of fitness in case it helps or inspires anyone else.  

 

*****

 

You can see all my fitness posts from the last year below-

My First Half Marathon.

My Fitness Mission- July. 

 My Fitness Mission- June.

My Fitness Mission- May.

Some Questions About Running.

My Fitness Mission- April.

My Fitness Mission- March.

Run, Run, Run.

My Fitness Mission- February.

My Fitness Mission- January.

 

 

 

A Day Trip To Palma With Thomson Airways- A Flight On The 787 Dreamliner

on Tuesday, 14 October 2014.

Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know that I am obsessed with travel.  Before our two little ladies came along, any extra money we had would be saved towards our next weekend away or holiday.  I even decided after university that I wanted to work in the travel industry, specialising in online marketing for a large online hotel reservations website for six years until I had Mads.  

As such I have been lucky enough to travel to a fair few places in this big wide world of ours-   Thailand, New York, Barbados and Mexico being just a few of them.  However there is one thing that you might not know about me- I really don't like flying!  It wouldn't ever stop me going away but I have never particularly enjoyed it and since I had the girls I have got worse.  I really am not a good flyer at all- I feel uncomfortable in the air and get anxious before I am due to travel.

Therefore when Thomson Airways invited me to go on a day trip to Palma in Majorca on their new 787 Dreamliner, I originally jumped at the chance to experience it.  But as the time drew nearer I wondered whether two flights in a day might not be the best thing for someone who isn't particuarly keen on flying.  I need not have worried, I had the most amazing day courtesy of Thomson, and they actually have helped me with my flying nerves a little as well.

Here are some phone photos of our fantastic day to Palma, I so wish I had bought my big camera...

a trip to palma1

We were greeted in Gatwick airport by some of the Thomson team- and were excited to get aboard the 787 Dreamliner, alongside a few other bloggers and some journalists.  Thomson were one of the first companies in the UK to fly the jet- a state of the art plane that is changing the future of travel.

a trip to palma2

The weather in the UK was particularly horrendous on Wednesday last week- it made our adventure seem even more special!

a trip to palma3

We were in premium economy on board the Dreamliner, but all passengers can expect some wonderful features on board- including bigger seats, a quieter flight (so much quieter!), more oxygen, and a fantastic entertainment package.  I only wish I wasn't feeling poorly so I could have indulged in a morning glass of champagne!

a trip to palma4

The Dreamliner has mood lighting, which means it can be in tune with your body clock for day and dusk.  But it also can do a pretty cool special effects lighting show too.  It's like a disco on a plane!  

a trip to palma5

Best plane breakfast ever!  While eating the delicious breakfasts in the air, we learnt all about Thomson Airway's plans for the future of holiday travel.  Some exciting features in the pipeline including family zone seating, (similar to that on a train with a table in the middle) couple pods, specially trained kids club flight attendants and a beach bar for premium economy passengers.  All the ideas sound incredibly exciting and I can't wait to see them in action.

a trip to palma6

My lovely seat partner, the gorgeous Xanthe.

Katie-Cockpit-2

We got a chance to go in the cockpit which was exciting (like when you were allowed to years ago!) and we got plenty of time to chat to the MD of Thomson Airways, Captain John Murphy, who was really passionate about their upcoming plans.  It was also great to chat to him about flying, and it was really interesting to chat to him about the Dreamliner and Thomson in general.

a trip to palma14

An amazing flight on the Dreamliner and we were greeted by blue skies on arrival in Palma.  Such a welcome change from the rain back home. 

a trip to palma15

Not a bad place to go for lunch- we went to a lovely restaurant overlooking Palma harbour.

a trip to palma16

 It was great chatting to the people on my table over lunch and getting to know more about TUI and their respective brands.

a trip to palma18

Lunch was amazing, I had perfectly cooked steak for my main course and I may have eaten one of each of these desserts.  If you are in Palma then the restaurant Ca n'eduardo is well worth visiting.

a trip to palma8

After lunch we had some time to wander around Palma for a bit- myself and lovely Alison headed down to the Marina with some of the other ladies.  It was so nice to feel the sun on our shoulders and Palma really is a beautiful city- I wish there had been longer to explore.

a trip to palma10

It was so lovely to spend some quality time with this lady.  I would definitely recommend going to the harbour if you go as it was great seeing all the big yachts and fishing boats side by side.

a trip to palma7

Sunshine selfies.

a trip to palma11

It was so nice to get in the sun, even for a few hours, especially as the weather has been so horrible here the last few days.

a trip to palma12

Back on board the Dreamliner with the other bloggers on our trip- Alison, Nicky from Thomson, Xanthe, Poppy, Daisy and Joelle.

a trip to palma9

 As part of their premium economy service Thomson offer a delicious warm cookie, a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and a REAL duvet which was an absolute treat.  The flight home was a lot quieter with not so much chatting, and as I snuggled down I realised it is the most relaxed I have felt on a flight in years.  I really felt calm and actually enjoyed my time in the air.

 

All in all it was a fantastic day, such an adventure and I loved every minute of it.  Thomson have some really impressive plans ahead for the future and have a five year plan to become 'the holiday airline.'  From flying to new destinations, such as Costa Rica and parts of the Caribbean such as Antigua and St Lucia, (yes please!) to a completely personalised service with an iPad enabled crew, the plans definitely seem exciting, especially for parents travelling with children.  

It's certainly not every day you fly over 1000 miles away for lunch, but it was such a treat from start to finish.  A massive thanks to Thomson for a truly wonderful day with some great people.

 

NB.  I wasn't asked to write about our time in Palma but I had such a great time I just had to share!

'My Fitness Mission'- June.

on Tuesday, 08 July 2014.

I am interrupting my week or so of holiday posts to post my latest fitness mission update.  When I started trying to get fit back in January, I didn't really deep down think I would stick at it. Pessimistic perhaps but after many wasted gym memberships, two day 'diets' and numerous 'I will start tomorrow's', I wasn't holding out much hope.  But June has been and gone and I have managed to stick at it for the last six months, I am really proud of myself and it definitely has changed my life for the better.  I feel the healthiest I have ever been which is saying something.

Back on the 1st January 2014 I snapped a couple of photos of myself in the mirror with my iPhone.  I wasn't ever planning on sharing them, it was mainly so I could look back and see whether I could notice any difference as the months went past.  However I am being brave and sharing them on here, as I think it just goes to show what a difference six months can make.  I am really nervous, after all it's not every day you show your wobbly bits to the internet, but hopefully it will inspire other people who are thinking about trying to get fitter or feel better about themselves.

six months of fitness

(Note to self- Must remember to clean mirror!)

I have never been overweight but as you can see from the photos I had what you can only describe as a spare tyre round my tummy.  A bit of it was still excess baby weight, but it mainly was from having an unhealthy lifestyle- I would eat chocolate at least twice a day, sharing a large treat bag with Mr E almost every night. In all I have lost a stone and a half, although this fluctuates by a couple of pounds each month if I over indulge or don't do as much exercise.  I have also lost almost 6 and a half inches from my waist.  I am shocked by the change in the two photographs as obviously you don't see the change gradually.  It really has made a difference to my life- I have a lot more energy, I feel healthier, am enjoying buying clothes again and just generally feel happier as well.  Plus I have gained a new hobby when it comes to running, although some months I enjoy it more than others.

Here is how I got on in June...

 

Exercise

 

June has been a bit of a strange month when it comes to exercise.  On one hand, I have not done anywhere near as much running as I would have liked to, mainly because my knee has been playing up so I have had to rest it for a few days inbetween each run, but on the other hand I have experienced some new milestones.  On Father's Day I took part in my first ever race- a local 10k race.      I was so nervous beforehand, but I managed to complete it in 51 minutes 30, which is a new personal record for me.  I was 32nd out of 203 females running in the race and 202nd out of all 518 runners, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

However I have really only been getting out for a run about once a week which isn't ideal, although I have been doing the odd kettlebell workout at home too.  While we were on holiday last week, I impressed myself by getting up early in the morning and going to the gym on four different occasions, although I only did about twenty minutes on the treadmill as it was so hot!

My half marathon is next month and I am terribly nervous as I really haven't been training properly and I still have only done 8 miles at the most.  Let's hope it goes ok!

 

Food.

 

June has not been great in terms of eating, some days I have been good, but on the whole we have eaten out way too much.  I also went on holiday to Rhodes and as anyone who is trying to be good knows, a holiday is bound to throw a spanner in the works.  I drank cocktails every night, ate numerous ice creams and over indulged far too much in the evening buffet.  The puddings each night were divine- yummy creme brulees, creamy mousses and chocolate cake, and as I was on holiday I just couldn't resist filling my plate once. (or twice!)

 I am not strict enough to weigh myself (I don't have scales in my house so only do it when I go somewhere where there are some!) but I can tell that my jeans are a little tight so I think I am going to have to work a little harder this month.  That is my main problem- I just cannot resist sweet treats if they are in front of me. 


Overall.


One of the main reasons I started this fitness mission back in January was because I wanted to feel comfortable in a bikini on our holiday.  And while I still didn't feel completely comfortable as I do still have a wobbly tummy at the bottom, I embraced it and wore one for the first time since Mads was born three and a half years ago.  I know I won't have the figure that I had in my early 20's again, having my little ladies has changed my body, but I finally feel comfortable enough (sometimes) in my own skin to realise that's ok.  I made two little humans and as long as I eat healthily most of the time, do some exercise at least a couple of times a week and have a postive outlook, then I will feel pretty good. 

I wonder what the next six months will bring!

'My Fitness Mission'- May.

on Thursday, 05 June 2014.

I know I say it every month but May really came and went in a blink of an eye.  I am still dedicated to my fitness mission and lifestyle change, but it's been hard this month due to a few different reasons.  June brings a busy time for us, with two weekends away and our holiday to Rhodes, so of course lots of meals out, plus not as much chance to exercise.

I have been suffering with my health again this month.  I rarely get poorly but I still have this ongoing sickness.  The doctors think it may be an allergy but still aren't sure and I am waiting for further tests to try and get to the bottom of what the problem is.  It affects my exercise as it can leave me with no energy for a couple of days after.  Hopefully they will be able to figure out what it is soon.

Here is how I got on in May...

 

Exercise

 

I did something crazy this month- I signed up to a marathon.  A MARATHON.  I still can't believe it.  It isn't until next April, so I have plenty of time to train but all my family think I am mad as obviously 26 miles is a very long way.  I feel a bit sick when I think about it, but I hope that I can do it.  I would love to be able to say that at least once in my life I ran a marathon.  I never thought I would say that six months ago.

Running has been a little hit and miss this month.  Due to being poorly plus being busy I haven't been able to go out on as many runs as I normally would have done.  I also haven't had time to do any longer runs so have only been doing my usual 5k route.  I have my first ever 10k race in 2 weeks so I really ought to be doing longer runs, but I just haven't felt up to it.  I also have been having a bit of trouble with my knee hurting after each run, so I have been resting it more than normal.

Negative aspects aside, I went to my first park run last week.  Park Run is amazing, it's free weekly 5k timed runs in your local park and I was nervous as I didn't know what to expect, but I loved it.  It was really motivating running with other people and everyone was really supportive and nice. I also love that you got a time and results, it was like friendly competition.  There were 204 people running the one last week and I came in 73rd and was the 13th female.  I found it really interesting comparing my time to others.  I will definitely go back, but we have a busy few weekends so I am not sure when.  

I have also still been doing the odd kettlebell workout every now and again but this has slipped a little this month- I really enjoy it as a form of exercise and I was noticing I was getting stronger so I do need to start to try and do it a little more.

 

Food

 

I have had a varied diet this month.  On the one hand I am still eating reasonably well and watching what I put into my body, trying to eat more vegetables and fruit, but on the other hand I have indulged in quite a few sweet treats.  I don't have any self control and if we open a pack of biscuits or a chocolate bar, I have to eat it all. 

I was trying to eat a healthy breakfast, as I am so bad at skipping it, usually strawberries and natural yoghurt or some fruit, but I still don't do it every day.  I also have a really bad habit of picking at the girl's dinners if they don't eat them all.  This is really not good, so I need to try and stop this!

My one weakness is still diet coke, I just cannot help but have a bottle a day, sometimes more.  I am aware of how unhealthy it is, but I just love it so much.  I also have really got worse at drinking water, I can go all day without drinking any, so I am going to make a conscious effort this month to try and start drinking more again. 

Although it sounds all negative when it comes to food in May, it hasn't been, we have still generally been eating reasonably healthy and eating smaller portions.  We have indulged in treats but I don't see this as a bad thing, as long as it's not every day like we used too.

 

Overall

 

I have been disappointed in my lack of running this month, but I have still managed at least once, if not twice a week.  Hopefully June will be different.  I need to start training as I have less than eight weeks till my first half marathon!  Eeeek!  I haven't run over eight miles yet so I really need to start looking at training plans.  

I have actually lost a little bit more weight and I do need to be careful not to lose any more.  I think this is more down to the fact that I have been poorly rather than through exercise or eating.  I am still struggling with the fact that although I have lost weight everywhere else, my tummy is still rounded.  I do realise I have had two children and it is never going to be flat like it was in my early 20's, but I do want to try and tone it a little more.  

My goals for June are to start my half marathon training plan, do at least one more park run, run three times a week and drink more water.  Hopefully these are achievable!

my fitness mission may

Check out my fitness mission in...

April

March

February

January

 

 

 

[12 3 4 5  >>  
Wikio - Top Blogs - Parenting Wikio - Top Blogs
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
 PHOTO-BLOGS
Tots100 UK parent blogs